Amish Country Inn

Making It Plain
 Canton Couple's New Amish-Style Inn Has "English" Accents Built In
By Martha Ellen
Times Staff Writer

Excerpts from an article in the Thursday, May 11, 2000 edition of the Watertown Daily Times

John & Donna Clark
John & Donna Clark
White Pillars Bed and Breakfast
Amish Country Inn - winter 2000
Amish Country Inn
Craftsman Suites

Amish Country Inn
Oak Suite
Beech Suite
Vermont Casting's Gas Fireplace
Oak Desk

  Canton -  Peace of mind accompanied by simple charm and the most modern of conveniences is what travelers want, John A. and Donna R. Clark believe. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have run a Civil War-era homestead on Old State Road as White Pillars Bed and Breakfast since 1992, when they decided to branch out into more long-term rentals, they opted to showcase another aspect of north country living.

"The idea with this place was to give people an experience they're going to remember," Mr. Clark said as he took a break from directing the finishing touches at Amish Country Inn. "The place just quiets you down."

Construction of the new inn down the road from White Pillars, off Route 11 between Canton and DeKalb Junction, was headed by Amish builder Emanuel B. Shetler and included three house raisings, which the Amish call "frolics." The building design is traditional Amish, but the four suites at the inn were modified by a Connecticut architect to include not only electricity and plumbing, but marble bathroom floors, jets in bathtubs, JennAire ranges and grills in kitchens, propane powered Vermont Castings stoves, air conditioning, vaulted ceilings with exposed hand-hewn beams, and private phone lines A fitness center in the cellar speaks to what Mr. Clark looks for when he travels. "That's part of my athletic background," said Mr. Clark, who was previously director of athletics at St. Lawrence University.

As one enters the Inn, the ground floor accommodations branch off into the Hickory suite and the Oak suite. Upstairs, there is the Beech suite and the Cherry suite, all made from locally harvested lumber. Doors leading to the suites have a plaque telling what wood is featured on the trim and furniture within. The choice of the different woods grew out of a problem of there not being enough of one kind of wood to do the entire house. "The English people (which is what the Amish call them) struggle with problems. To the Amish, it's a challenge," Mr. Clark said. "Their whole perception is what works.". Mrs. Clark said the whole experience went far beyond hiring a carpenter. "I would say that it was life-transforming for both of us, to have the beautiful simplicity and faith of the Amish rub off on us."

The inn will serve as overflow accommodations for White Pillars, but mainly be available for those who need more long-term temporary housing. White Pillars, which has sweeping views of surrounding farmland, was built in 1862 by James Taylor and remained in the family until Mr. and Mrs. Clark bought it, and it's furnishings purposely reflect the period in which it was built."The real joy is having people come into your home for a time and you immediately have a bond," Mrs. Clark said. "You're sharing a home. You're sharing a meal."


Donna Clark
395 Old State Road
Canton, NY   13617


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